June 30th, 2011
The Oregon legislature narrowly approved a measure yesterday that grants tribal police officers the right to enforce state law off tribal lands, regardless of whether the crime originated on a reservation. Oregon is apparently only the second state to enact such legislation.
According to the Portland Oregonian: “Currently, tribal officers can only enforce state law under very narrow circumstances — such as resisting arrest or in pursuit of a suspect leaving the reservation — or unless a tribal government formed an agreement with individual counties.”
Senate Bill 412 requires that tribal officers complete standard state police training and for tribal governments to adopt rules “substantially similar” to Oregon law on public records, evidence retention, and insurance for tribal police to exercise these additional powers.
“We’re thrilled about the outcome,” said Justin Martin, lobbyist for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. “And all Oregonians should be thrilled about the outcome because we’re talking about more certified police officers on the ground protecting all people.”